Skin Blog

Sunburn in dark skin. Truth or myth?

What is the biggest myth you heard about dark skin? Well, for me it is about sunburn. I heard from lots of people that dark skin doesn’t get sunburns. I am sure you have heard it too. Well, that’s a complete myth. The sun doesn’t discriminate against any of us. It provides the same UVA and UVB rays to all of us. And they all do the same deterioration to our skin. Thanks to the little pigmented friend in our skin called melanin which helps us to protect our skin from sun damage. But is it good enough? No, it’s not. Melanin is not enough to protect our skin from suntan or sunburn. It might reduce the effect. But it can’t give complete protection from sunburn.

How does sunburn look on dark skin?

Sunburn looks different on dark skin. It is very easy to locate any sunburn on light skin. As they are very visible at the beginning stage, they are easily treatable in light skin. You will see red patches on the skin, especially the areas which are more exposed in the sun. For example, face, neck or feet. The sunburn will feel hot at the beginning. And then it will feel painful. There are other symptoms too. The burned skin might feel tight and itchy. It will be very sensitive to touch. These symptoms are common in both light and dark skin. The difference is only the color. Dark skin doesn’t get the redness from the sunburn. And that’s why it becomes difficult to be found out at the early stage.

Sunburn usually gets healed within 7 to 10 days if treated properly. But in severe cases it can lead to more serious damage like heat stroke. If you are having sunburn please be careful about the symptoms below. If you feel any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to call for help. The symptoms are
• Swollen skin
• High fever
• Shivering
• Dizziness
• Vomiting
• Headache
• Muscle cramp

Treatment for sunburn

If you find out about the sunburn at the primary stage, don’t feel afraid. It will heal by itself with some small steps. The first thing you have to do is to keep yourself protected from the sun. Try not to stay outside at the peak hour which is from 12 pm to 4 pm. Wear a wide hat to protect the face and neck area. Try to wear long sleeve dress to cover the affected skin. Exposer to the sun can worsen the sunburn. So it is better to be well protected. Apply a generous amount of high SPF sunscreen before going out in the sun. And if you are outside for more than two hours, please reapply the sunscreen.

Most of the cases, the sunburn will heal with these small cautions. But if it does not heal in 10 days you should consider consulting a specialist. There are certain creams and medicines for sunburn. In severe cases, the application of them can relieve the pain. But make sure to talk to a doctor first.

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